As a term in the automotive lexicon, "all-new" often is applied subjectively to original and updated vehicles, but used to characterize the redesigned-for-2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, "all-new" is as accurate as it can be. PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams marveled: "As near as we can tell, there isn't a single aspect to this truck that hasn't been reengineered, reimagined or redesigned." Perhaps most notable among the best-selling F-150's newfangled features is its record-setting abundance of weight-saving aluminum. However, Williams noted, even if that were not the case, the 2015 F-150's technology and other segment-first features would still be revolutionary. Read more about PickupTrucks.com first drive of the F-150 here.
The kids went back to school, the leaves began to change colors and car shoppers in September sent new-car sales from the largest seven automakers up about 10 percent versus a depressed September 2013. That made for some significant reshuffling in the top 10 sellers. As Toyota Camry shoppers await the updated 2015 model, the Honda Accord spent its second month as America's best-selling sedan, and the Ford Escape broke in to the top 10 sellers for the first time since March 2014.
Honda, Chrysler, GM and Nissan led major automakers with double-digit sales gains. Ford sales fell 2.7 percent as the F-Series had its second straight month of declining sales ahead of the redesigned F-150 hitting dealerships. Pickup-truck shoppers apparently preferred the F-Series' competitors: Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram pickup sales combined to gain 39.8 percent.
As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.
Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.
Today's sales figures continue to pave the road for a strong 2014. As the sales year steams into its second half, we've seen new optimism from analysts and automakers that expect total new-car sales this year to land close to where they were in the heyday years of the early 2000s.
Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014
With the largest seven automakers reporting numbers so far today, industry sales increased 9 percent over July 2013. Honda was the odd one out (down 3.9 percent), but Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and recall-beset GM reported single-digit sales gains, while Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota reported double-digit gains. All of that is compared against a pretty good month a year ago for the industry, too.
Thanks to big gains from the Sentra and Versa, Nissan sales gained 11.4 percent. Small-car sales overall were mixed: Shoppers had more interest in the Ford Focus (up 5.7 percent) but not the recall-besieged Chevrolet Cruze (down 17.8 percent), the Honda Civic (down 7.3 percent) or the Hyundai Elantra (down 7.9 percent).
Champing at the bit for new revelations among the stingily kept secrets of the 2015 Ford F-150's powertrains? Well, the automaker has mercifully thrown you a couple of new morsels, releasing some specs on two (though not all) of the pickup truck's engines — the standard 3.5-liter V-6 and the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost motor — and PickupTrucks.com is serving them both up on a silver platter. Get the full story by following the link below.
Cars.com photo by Steven Pham
The broken record continues. Another sales month, and all eyes are on GM. When the automaker's 2014 recall total long-jumped past the 20 million mark, we thought there was no way new-car sales could remain unaffected. Yes, we heard from industry experts that shoppers don't pay attention to recalls like they used to, and anyone who owns a Chevy Cobalt isn't in the market for a new car anyway. But given congressional testimonies and lawsuits galore, we expected shoppers to deal the General a sales defeat in June.
Related: 2014 American-Made Index
It didn't happen. GM sales increased 1 percent, beating out Ford and Honda, each down 5.8 percent. A sales stoppage in late June on the Chevrolet Cruze, which GM recalled shortly thereafter, contributed toward a 20.9 percent decline for the popular compact, as did lower inventory for the car. Still, GM's Buick and GMC divisions lifted overall sales for the automaker. And with half of 2014 now in the books, U.S. sales operations head Kurt McNeil said in a sales statement that GM saw its best half-year of retail sales (that's sales to individuals, as opposed to commercial fleets) since 2008.
Starting earlier this year with the 2015 F-150 and continuing this week with the announcement of a new concept car, Ford is working to be a heavyweight in the realm of "light-weighting." The Ford Lightweight Concept follows in the footsteps of the production version of the F-150 pickup truck, which shed 700 pounds using high-strength steel and aluminum alloy. The concept, based on the 2013 Fusion midsize sedan, drops a quarter of the sedan's body weight to tip the scales at the same level as Ford's smallest car, the Fiesta, the automaker said Tuesday.
Ford said the concept "uses advanced materials to explore future weight-reduction solutions that could improve performance and fuel efficiency while reducing carbon dioxide emissions." The automaker said the vehicle uses many of the same lightweight materials found in today's mobile electronic devices, such as aluminum, chemically toughened glass and advanced lightweight plastics, as well as high-strength steel, magnesium and carbon fiber.
All signs point toward another strong month for the auto industry. Toyota gained 17 percent as shoppers bought nearly 50,000 Camry sedans, leapfrogging the Chevrolet Silverado to a No. 2 spot in May's best-sellers. Cash incentives on the Camry increased versus year-ago levels, which likely fueled some of the nameplate's 26.4 percent gain. But so did renewed interest in family sedans: The Ford Fusion (up 14.6 percent), Nissan Altima (up 12.9 percent) and Honda Accord (up 19.3 percent) drew more shoppers, too.
Nissan's 18.8 percent gain led the top seven automakers, while big increases from its Jeep and Ram divisions lifted Chrysler sales 16.7 percent. The Ram pickup truck gained 17.2 percent, the biggest percentage gain of any full-size pickup. Its rival Ford F-Series dropped 4.3 percent; no doubt shoppers are awaiting a new F-150 that hits dealerships at the end of this year.
Ford, Hyundai-Kia and Honda all gained less than 10 percent, falling below the seven largest automakers' 11.8 percent gain. Still, even the poorest performer (Ford) saw sales up 3 percent.
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